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Thread: The need for misery in people's lives

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    Default The need for misery in people's lives

    Thesis: Pity, like crueltly - true cruelty - the kind that comes from the inside and rejoices in others sufferings - stems from masochism and man's need for feeling misery.

    When a person pities, they sink to the level of the person who is suffering because they desire to feel the same pain. This idea is nothing new. Neitszsche and Ayn Rand had it right. The evening news are just a way for emotionaly starved people to feel pain at others misfortunes and at all bad things happening in the world. These people who watch the news desire to feel pain, they crave it as nothing in their miserable, small minded little lives bring them more joy, why do you think the evening news mentions only negative things? They have a following of people who need the suffering they bring and that these people crave. Similarly pity for another person is a way for emotionally starved people to feel close to each other, to feel pain. Similarly people who are cruel and laugh at others pain and suffering are masochists. It would be typically thought that such a person is a sadist. But when you think about it, a person's capacity to rejoice in others happiness is a form of sadism - the person who rejoices in others happiness feels that happiness in themselves, too. Just like this person then, the masochist who bullies someone weaker than he is and rejoices at his capacity to cause pain feels the pain of the person they bully. Which is why they often keep it up - because it works as a dispenser of msiery- for both parties.

    But why all this need for pain? Why, if the human animal is a pleasure seeking machine, what would cause one to seek pain, either consciously or unconsciously? There could be several causes for this. First of all is the identification with the aggressor. People have been vampirised themselves in the past, and they dont understand, and the only way they can understand is by relating to those who have sucked their blood. Second, Theres the fact humans need closeness and togetherness. By feeling others pain you become closer to them. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we as humans seek strong sensations, and pain is one of them. There are many kinds of emotional pain, but all of them jump start our nervous system and get our life blood flowing again. We are not after all, pleasure or happiness seeking machines. We seek to live, first of all, to be happy is not our end as human beings; this might be hard to conceive in a society were we are so squeemish and used to seeking our flat happniess and safety.

    That being said, id like to add, if it isnt already implied -I would NOT like to meet a masochist who practices the golden rule!




    So...Any thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

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    Interesting, though it seems misleading to call it a 'need' as if to say that people can't do without it or that they seek it out for the sake of it. You yourself described the 'need' in terms of other needs, those being a need for human closeness/empathy and mental stimulation. I think you made a strong case for it being a plausible means to achieving some basic human needs though.
    Last edited by Azeroffs; 10-18-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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    Obviously pain facilitates learning and self preservation in animals. The purpose of pain is to avoid dying. People don't seek out pain like a need, they encounter pain and they avoid it.
    Society caused most the pain our generation is experiencing right now. Self destructive behaviors are subliminations of past traumas.

    Everyone has their path in society dealt to them like a hand of cards. Society is just a bunch of boundaries and we wind our way through. The pain is just you rubbing up against the boundaries of society. That's a very deterministic way of viewing people though.

    What's more interesting about humanity is its free will.. I could use a bit more manipulative sociopath in me I suppose but determinism seems so lifeless. Reading theories about determinism isn't very interesting since they've already been discovered unless you're a cutting edge scientist. But this one doesn't even try being empirical.

    Yet here I sit.. procrastinating when I need to go take a shit.

    Maybe I need to train myself to shit properly.. maybe that is my problem.

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    I think I could believe that the subconscious desires misery, and depotentiates our motivation until we feel it. Or it could be that misery is the only true motivator....

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    Pain is unavoidable but it's not desired. Pain is the opposite of desire. They're linked yeah but they are not the same thing. Things being distinct is kinda the basis for things existing at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brilliant rat
    Obviously pain facilitates learning and self preservation in animals. The purpose of pain is to avoid dying. People don't seek out pain like a need, they encounter pain and they avoid it.
    This.

    Typhon, I disagree with the nuance in your thesis, but overall you present an interesting case and a rather sound argument.

    When a person pities, they sink to the level of the person who is suffering because they desire to feel the same pain.
    This is true, but why will someone want to feel the same pain? Is it to empathize, to use the pain as an empowerment for action, or is it simply to muddle in it because we
    Quote Originally Posted by A Lady Antebellum song
    love this pain a little too much
    ? I'm sure you've answered that in your lower paragraph, but you may want to explore some points to produce a prescriptive thesis.

    We seek to live, first of all, to be happy is not our end as human beings; this might be hard to conceive in a society were we are so squeemish and used to seeking our flat happniess and safety.
    I love this. It's generally true of most people, and everyone, in fact. Have you heard of this book called 'Flow' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? I believe you are heading the right direction, and you've made a good insight to human nature. It may not be 'happiness' that we are after, but flow, and pain is at many times, part of it

    Then again if we should be strict, flow leads to happiness... so (:
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    Quote Originally Posted by imprecise rat
    Pain is unavoidable but it's not desired. Pain is the opposite of desire. They're linked yeah but they are not the same thing. Things being distinct is kinda the basis for things existing at all.
    Not exactly. The opposite of desire is aversion. The opposite of pain is pleasure. Pain may lead to pleasure (sowing seeds -> hard work, reaping crop --> hard work --> eating munchies --> happiness), and is definitely unavoidable if you are seeking true pleasure, but as you say, it is not desired. We have a natural aversion to pain, but those who have learnt the route to pleasure view pain as just a necessary step towards it, and may actually desire it as part of the Package of Pleasure.

    Right. No sexual innuendos there please -.-
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbie
    A couple years ago I was put in charge of decorating the college for Valentine's Day. I made some gorgeous, fancy decorations from construction paper, glue, scissors, and imagination. Then I covered a couple cabinets with them. But my favorite was the diagram of a human heart I put up. So romantic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    So...Any thoughts? Agree? Disagree?
    The grass is always greener on the other side. If one has feelings, one wishes to be rid of them. If one does not, one wishes to feel something. Pain is something.

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    I try to avoid using my personal experience as an argument, but in some level I can discern a strong will to fuck things up for myself.

    I also refuse to believe that everything is just so simple as we being machines trying to minimize suffering and maximize joy, although it is something that sounds rational and something I follow in my life as a thumb rule. If I discern a pattern, I rather choose not to believe that it is without an exception, thus seeking a new pattern emerging from the perceived exception.

    Pain and suffering have a lot varieties and some pain is rather enjoyable. As if I feel pain to live fully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeroffs View Post
    Interesting, though it seems misleading to call it a 'need' as if to say that people can't do without it or that they seek it out for the sake of it. You yourself described the 'need' in terms of other needs, those being a need for human closeness/empathy and mental stimulation. I think you made a strong case for it being a plausible means to achieving some basic human needs though.
    Yeah, possibly "need" isnt the right word, considering the causes I outlined. I should have said "desire" or something along those lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuben View Post
    I love this. It's generally true of most people, and everyone, in fact. Have you heard of this book called 'Flow' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi? I believe you are heading the right direction, and you've made a good insight to human nature. It may not be 'happiness' that we are after, but flow, and pain is at many times, part of it

    Then again if we should be strict, flow leads to happiness... so (:
    I have not heard this book. But thanks for informing me.

    Flow does lead to happiness, in your arguement however by default also to unhappiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    The grass is always greener on the other side. If one has feelings, one wishes to be rid of them. If one does not, one wishes to feel something. Pain is something.
    Last edited by Typhon; 10-19-2011 at 01:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post


    If you're impliying Im stupid, then fuck you.

    If thats not what you're saying then what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    If you're impliying Im stupid, then fuck you.

    If thats not what you're saying then what?
    Oh, don't be so negative, Absurd has a lot of insightful, constructive contribution on many topics around here.

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    lol

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    Nice post, Typhon. A very interesting topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    Thesis: Pity, like crueltly - true cruelty - the kind that comes from the inside and rejoices in others sufferings - stems from masochism and man's need for feeling misery.

    When a person pities, they sink to the level of the person who is suffering because they desire to feel the same pain. This idea is nothing new. Neitszsche and Ayn Rand had it right. The evening news are just a way for emotionally starved people to feel pain at others misfortunes and at all bad things happening in the world. These people who watch the news desire to feel pain, they crave it as nothing in their miserable, small minded little lives bring them more joy, why do you think the evening news mentions only negative things? They have a following of people who need the suffering they bring and that these people crave.
    While I think that there might be some truth to this, there are many other reasons why a person might desire to feel pain which are not motivated by sadism nor masochism. The evening news mentions many negative occurrences because all of these have actually occurred irl, serving as a reminder of the fragility of the human existence and our capacity for evil. Not simply due to biased selection (though making problems seem larger than they are does garner more attention), since positive news are given an equal if not more important place, probably to remind us that it is not all bad and that there is hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon
    Similarly pity for another person is a way for emotionally starved people to feel close to each other, to feel pain. Similarly people who are cruel and laugh at others pain and suffering are masochists. It would be typically thought that such a person is a sadist. But when you think about it, a person's capacity to rejoice in others happiness is a form of sadism - the person who rejoices in others happiness feels that happiness in themselves, too. Just like this person then, the masochist who bullies someone weaker than he is and rejoices at his capacity to cause pain feels the pain of the person they bully. Which is why they often keep it up - because it works as a dispenser of misery- for both parties.
    This view paints compassion and pity in a negative light. At the positive end, real compassion and pity is part of the process of sharing and bonding. True compassion is innate, empathy. Unless such pity and compassion are fabricated ones. Yes, a person who rejoices in anothers' happiness feels that happiness in themselves also. And this a joyful feeling to have. We once experienced the happiness, we know how it feels and are glad to see it reflected in another, because it's just such a simple, joyful feeling to have. It isn't necessarily sadistic. A sadist is by definition someone who "obtains pleasure from inflicting pain on others". A true sadist in this context would obtain pain from inflicting/seeing pleasure, and would loathe to see happiness reflected in others. Similarly, the masochist is by definition someone who "obtains pleasure from receiving punishment".

    The masochist's (the sadist to be accurate, the masochist is someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment), pleasure doesn't come from "feeling the pain of the person they bully". They are likely to be reliving their old memories of torture, or whatever it is that motivates them to such actions. (As you have pointed out in the subsequent paragraph- identification with the aggressor, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon
    But why all this need for pain? Why, if the human animal is a pleasure seeking machine, what would cause one to seek pain, either consciously or unconsciously? There could be several causes for this. First of all is the identification with the aggressor. People have been vampirised themselves in the past, and they dont understand, and the only way they can understand is by relating to those who have sucked their blood. Second, Theres the fact humans need closeness and togetherness. By feeling others pain you become closer to them.
    The first is a good point. Inflicting pain towards our victim allows us to feel what it is like to "be" the aggressor. Feel what he feels. Relieve the experience and understand what it means. The second, yes.. sharing and bonding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon
    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we as humans seek strong sensations, and pain is one of them.. There are many kinds of emotional pain, but all of them jump start our nervous system and get our life blood flowing again. We are not after all, pleasure or happiness seeking machines. We seek to live, first of all, to be happy is not our end as human beings; this might be hard to conceive in a society were we are so squeemish and used to seeking our flat happiness and safety.
    I really like this statement, probably because of my sx primary instinct. I doubt many sx last would agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reuben
    It may not be 'happiness' that we are after, but flow, and pain is at many times, part of it

    Then again if we should be strict, flow leads to happiness... so (:

    We have a natural aversion to pain, but those who have learnt the route to pleasure view pain as just a necessary step towards it, and may actually desire it as part of the Package of Pleasure.
    I think this is spot on. Pain is most times a necessary route towards understanding. It is part of the process towards an end of happiness, or what I would like to call inner peace and reconciliation. People indulge in and experience the extremes. What do they gain in the end? Different external things according to the nature of the experience, but it is also a reflection of the wars waged within, and inner peace and contentment may in fact be the ultimate goal we seek.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InkStrider View Post
    Nice post, Typhon. A very interesting topic.
    Thanks


    While I think that there might be some truth to this, there are many other reasons why a person might desire to feel pain which are not motivated by sadism nor masochism. The evening news mentions many negative occurrences because all of these have actually occurred irl, serving as a reminder of the fragility of the human existence and our capacity for evil. Not simply due to biased selection (though making problems seem larger than they are does garner more attention), since positive news are given an equal if not more important place, probably to remind us that it is not all bad and that there is hope.
    I dont see the evening news giving an equally important place to postive events, Im not sure what newsstation you're watching, lol. But I dont think that the fact these things happen irl gives them any reason to braodcast them on tv so people can gawk and stare at suffering people while saying "look this is so bad omg". etc. I dont see much postive news on. Im not saying that evryone who watches the news is necesarrily in it to feel pity though, there could be many rasons for watching the news, but the ones the do certainly aerent fully aware of it.


    This view paints compassion and pity in a negative light.
    Yes it does.

    At the positive end, real compassion and pity is part of the process of sharing and bonding. True compassion is innate, empathy. Unless such pity and compassion are fabricated ones. Yes, a person who rejoices in anothers' happiness feels that happiness in themselves also. And this a joyful feeling to have. We once experienced the happiness, we know how it feels and are glad to see it reflected in another, because it's just such a simple, joyful feeling to have.
    I was actually talking more about like when someone picks on you laughs, and you envy them, for feeling like nothing affects them(because thats the effect they wanna produce).

    A sadist is by definition someone who "obtains pleasure from inflicting pain on others". A true sadist in this context would obtain pain from inflicting/seeing pleasure, and would loathe to see happiness reflected in others. Similarly, the masochist is by definition someone who "obtains pleasure from receiving punishment".

    The masochist's (the sadist to be accurate, the masochist is someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment), pleasure doesn't come from "feeling the pain of the person they bully". They are likely to be reliving their old memories of torture, or whatever it is that motivates them to such actions. (As you have pointed out in the subsequent paragraph- identification with the aggressor, etc.)
    I disagree. I think it very could be both identifying with the agressor and feeling the pain of the person they bully, they are not mutually exclusive. What Implying here is that while yes, a sadist is someone who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others, and a masochist one enjoys feeling pain("receiving punishment" seems more like an SM thing which isnt the kind of sadism and masochism Im talking about here), hence the one who inflicts pain on others is actually more concerned about feeling pain then they are about the pain their victim carries along with them afterwards. As you said yourself, this is identifying. The sadist hence is the person who is being bullied/agressed and tolerates such situations, since they derive some kind of libinal pleasure from feeling their punihsers pain increase. Im not at all saying tolerating such situations is healthy - its extremely unhealthy for the person being aggressed its just that the roles might not be as one is lead to beleive; speaking of SnM, Sigmund Freud already pointed out that there is a paradox in the role of sadist and masochist since at an uncoscious level, he said, the masochist indentifies with the sadist and vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    I dont see the evening news giving an equally important place to postive events, Im not sure what newsstation you're watching, lol. But I dont think that the fact these things happen irl gives them any reason to braodcast them on tv so people can gawk and stare at suffering people while saying "look this is so bad omg". etc. I dont see much postive news on. Im not saying that evryone who watches the news is necesarrily in it to feel pity though, there could be many rasons for watching the news, but the ones the do certainly aerent fully aware of it.
    I think that the point of the evening news is simply to present news. That there exists a sick subset of humanity who do enjoy watching it out of the desire to feel pain, says nothing of the majority who don't and doesn't mean that the news is catering for such individuals. ("These people who watch the news desire to feel pain, they crave it as nothing in their miserable, small minded little lives bring them more joy, why do you think the evening news mentions only negative things?")

    Though I do understand your point that among the few who do derive such pleasure may not be fully aware that they do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon
    I was actually talking more about like when someone picks on you laughs, and you envy them, for feeling like nothing affects them(because thats the effect they wanna produce).
    I don't think most bullies bully you in order to make you envy them. More like simply wanting to assert their own superiority due to their own inner insecurities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon
    The sadist hence is the person who is being bullied/agressed and tolerates such situations, since they derive some kind of libinal pleasure from feeling their punisers pain increase. Im not at all saying tolerating such situations is healthy - its extremely unhealthy for the person being aggressed its just that the roles might not be as one is lead to beleive; speaking of SnM, Sigmund Freud already pointed out that there is a paradox in the role of sadist and masochist since at an uncoscious level, he said, the masochist indentifies with the sadist and vice versa.
    So the sadist/victim derives pleasure from feeling their punisher's pain increase? Shouldn't the punisher be experiencing pleasure instead of pain out of aggressing their victim?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    If you're impliying Im stupid, then fuck you.

    If thats not what you're saying then what?
    This is where I've got a problem with Gulenko's Cognitive Styles. Anyhow, I just posted two vids, no need to go all InkStrider on me and thinking I said something else, I didn't. I'm not those people who say things without saying them at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InkStrider View Post
    I think that the point of the evening news is simply to present news. That there exists a sick subset of humanity who do enjoy watching it out of the desire to feel pain, says nothing of the majority who don't and doesn't mean that the news is catering for such individuals. ("These people who watch the news desire to feel pain, they crave it as nothing in their miserable, small minded little lives bring them more joy, why do you think the evening news mentions only negative things?")

    Though I do understand your point that among the few who do derive such pleasure may not be fully aware that they do.
    Yes, I agree that the point of the evening news is in and of itself rather innocent, but so are many things which dont have the successful atings of the evening news. This is telling, I think.



    I don't think most bullies bully you in order to make you envy them. More like simply wanting to assert their own superiority due to their own inner insecurities.
    We're talking about two different things. You're talking about the cosncious motives of bullies, Im talking about the uncosncious.


    So the sadist/victim derives pleasure from feeling their punisher's pain increase? Shouldn't the punisher be experiencing pleasure instead of pain out of aggressing their victim?
    I guess it should, and probably does cosnciously, but thats not what Im talking about here. Im talking about the libidanal force driving them. The sadist feels pain, yet pleasure also. Same with the victim. It is like, I said, a paradox.

    @Absurd: Ok.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post

    We're talking about two different things. You're talking about the cosncious motives of bullies, Im talking about the uncosncious.
    Why would you talk about the subconscious?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    Why would you talk about the subconscious?
    Because it mtovates what we do, sometimes more so then our consciousness, i think.

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    Pain is always guiding us..

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    When a person pities, they sink to the level of the person who is suffering because they desire to feel the same pain.
    They're just being empathetic, and empathy is natural for most humans. They're not 'sinking down' to anything... I know many Americans think empathy is a weakness and that just makes me lol. Maybe compassion does make one sink. But I Like the earth soooo.

    Neitszsche and Ayn Rand had it right.
    Gag me. Anybody who I ever met who liked them were empty sociopaths, or at the very least had some sort of empathy disorder problem. Ayn Rand was an emotional basketcase, Neitszhe was slightly healthier but not by much.

    The evening news are just a way for emotionaly starved people to feel pain at others misfortunes and at all bad things happening in the world.
    I agree they could do something more productive with their lives, but calling them emotionally starved is a bit much and it's not helping them with anything.

    These people who watch the news desire to feel pain, they crave it as nothing in their miserable, small minded little lives bring them more joy, why do you think the evening news mentions only negative things?
    The news doesn't just mention negative things. The news makes silly dumb jokes and talks about sports games and jobs and what food is good and bad for you. I agree, it's hokey as hell and not my cup of tea either, but for you to harshly psychologically judge them is just making me think you are kinda messed up yourself.

    They have a following of people who need the suffering they bring and that these people crave. Similarly pity for another person is a way for emotionally starved people to feel close to each other, to feel pain.
    lol I think you are trolling now.

    Similarly people who are cruel and laugh at others pain and suffering are masochists. It would be typically thought that such a person is a sadist. But when you think about it, a person's capacity to rejoice in others happiness is a form of sadism - the person who rejoices in others happiness feels that happiness in themselves, too. Just like this person then, the masochist who bullies someone weaker than he is and rejoices at his capacity to cause pain feels the pain of the person they bully. Which is why they often keep it up - because it works as a dispenser of msiery- for both parties.
    Bullies don't really continue doing it if you stand up to them.

    But why all this need for pain? Why, if the human animal is a pleasure seeking machine, what would cause one to seek pain, either consciously or unconsciously?
    Pain is inextricably linked to pleasure, that's why. Although if somebody is making us feel 'off' in an empty way, we need to trust our gut and realize we're dealing with a sociopath. Most hurt is the other way around though, most hurt is when somebody close to us betrays us, somebody we thought would never bruise our tender inner faggot, does just that. That is what is always the most shocking and hurtful- and the only way to turn it off would be to never trust or love. The price is worth the payment for most people.

    There could be several causes for this. First of all is the identification with the aggressor. People have been vampirised themselves in the past, and they dont understand, and the only way they can understand is by relating to those who have sucked their blood.
    I don't relate with my aggressors at all lmao. We are quite different, and that's why we clash and can't get along.

    Second, Theres the fact humans need closeness and togetherness. By feeling others pain you become closer to them.
    Yeah! But just because people have empathy doesn't mean everything has to turn into an oprah session lol.

    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we as humans seek strong sensations, and pain is one of them. There are many kinds of emotional pain, but all of them jump start our nervous system and get our life blood flowing again. We are not after all, pleasure or happiness seeking machines. We seek to live, first of all, to be happy is not our end as human beings; this might be hard to conceive in a society were we are so squeemish and used to seeking our flat happniess and safety.
    People don't really seek happiness or misery, it just sort of naturally comes up. Always following your plans, will naturally confine yourself... though that might be my bias as a perceiver type.

    That being said, id like to add, if it isnt already implied -I would NOT like to meet a masochist who practices the golden rule!
    Well if somebody is hellbent on being a dick to you, there's not much you can do to make him be a nicer guy ... villains naturally laugh at carebear stuff. You can try but that's why the best life advice is 'life isn't what happens to you, it's how you respond to it.'

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